493.46E9/9–751: Telegram

The Ambassador in Ceylon (Satterthwaite) to the Secretary of State


148. Deptel 91, Sept 6 arrived opportunely as I was about present Gufler to PriMin Senanayake, and Perm Sec Vaithianathan. In doing so this p. m., I took opportunity make points suggested therein.

I said Dept was grateful for action PriMin had taken in not facilitating bunkers for Pol vessels and also for support given by Min Fin Jayewardene at Jap Peace Conf. It now seemed however, our indirect efforts prevent shipment rubber Chi had failed as Pol vessel Mickiewicz was due here tomorrow with apparently sufficient bunkers reach Chi and I cld see nothing prevent shipment short action by GOC.

In circumstances US wld not, I said, think it friendly not point out as I had done on several occasions serious reaction actual shipment Ceylon rubber to Chi wld cause in US. I then made points re Battle Bill contained ref tel.

Vaithianathan interrupted at this point say GOC had recd inquiries whether it wld permit transshipment here rubber destined for Chi and govt had given firm negative in reply. I said I was glad hear this but that harm to relations between our two countries wld be caused by pending shipment Ceylon rubber.

In reply my observations PriMin did not offer make any effort stop shipment but did express hope something might still happen prevent it. He said he wanted Ceylon retain its independence and had announced there wld be no restriction fon trade. To this I said that US had also wanted Ceylon gain its independence and had done what [Page 2044]it cld to assist in this respect. These were, however, abnormal times and I wanted repeat that we wld not consider it friendly not point out serious consequences to relations between our two countries if shipment went forward. PriMin however, remained noncommittal altho conversation was maintained on friendly plane.

After conversation I told Vaithianathan their request from Kem Amendment exception shld be in by Sept 10. He indicated that it wld be ready by that time.

This morning I called on Gov Gen Lord Soulbury to bring him up-to-date on US-Ceylon rubber negots which he instigated. Conversation naturally turned situation created by pending Chi rubber shipment. He expressed great concern. He had warned PriMin of unfortunate consequence any such shipment but seemed feel there was little or nothing more he cld do. I made it clear I was not asking him do anything but merely making sure he was aware recent developments. He said he was most grateful for info I had given him. He thought he wld endeavor discuss situation with Goonetilleke and point out to him harm such shipment wld cause to country.

Repeated info London 48.